Catalyst

 

Strategic Policy Design & Implementation: Overview

Chaos theory offers exciting possibilities for a new approach to the analysis of complex social systems. The power of this analytical framework for social policy is that it is descriptive, not predictive; it is based on possibilities, not probabilities; it internalizes matters related to scale of intervention and implementation; and it affirms the central role of agents of change. Evolutionary biology, the central science in the development of chaos theory, tells us that organisms evolve to higher levels of complexity through cooperative problem solving. This is a cyclical process in which a number of single organisms, in response to an environmental opportunity or threat, form an effective cooperative group that begins to evolve together and, over time, becomes a single organism, achieving higher levels of complexity with each cycle. This mirrors closely the evolutionary process of human institutions. We observe that our current institutional infrastructure, an infrastructure evolved to serve the needs of our industrial past, is often inadequate to take advantage of the many opportunities created by the emerging complexities of modernity. Our experience suggests that cooperative opportunities to address these inadequacies abound for the major institutional pillars of our society- Government, Industry, & the Not For Profit Sectors. Our intention is to utilize this new theory of change to facilitate the formation of partnership-driven policies in pursuit of major societal objectives in our areas of expertise: Arts, Education, Community and Economic Development. Our current activities In this area include planning a conference on Education-led Economic Development, and launching a national conversation on arts and society.

Current Policy Objectives: